a 4-star industrial site zones in on Net-Zero Carbon

Situated in the OR Tambo Special Economic Zone, the In2food Bonaero Park facility manufactures food for Woolworths and food service customers. The site is one of the few industrial facilities in South Africa to have achieved Green Star and Net Zero carbon certifications, setting the benchmark for other industrial developments.

Described as the largest and most diverse ultra-fresh food facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the In2food facility has a lot to gain by going green. The design of the industrial facility, which has a total gross floor area of 22 282m², accommodates food preparation, storage, and office areas, as well as a canteen, showers and a medical clinic.

Malcolm Moore, group project and risk manager at In2food, comments: “The In2food Group, with 10 sites nationally working 24/7, every day of the year, has always been conscious of its energy, water, waste and carbon usage. With the new build at our state-of-the-art facility in Bonaero Park, this was totally in keeping with our values that we should seek to ensure that it was designed with the environment at the forefront of the project”.

Recognising the impact of their operations on the environment, the company has embarked on a journey of sustainability through its Lotana sustainability project, and this accolade is the first step in reaching its goal of being carbon zero rated by 2023. Besides Lotana, a new company called “In2energy” was established, focusing on the installation of solar and water treatment plants at its other facilities.

The Bonaero site is refrigerated by means of a CO2 refrigeration system which utilises less energy, has zero ODP (Ozone Depleting Potential) and exceptionally low GWP (Global Warming Potential) gas. The entire system collectively produces approximately 3MW cooling capacity to the facility. Conveniently, all hot water is then heated by the warmth produced by the CO2 refrigeration system, thereby reducing the need to install heat pumps, boilers or geysers. The boilers and the industrial kitchen use only natural gas, and a Limpsfield Burner ensures boiler efficiency and reduced carbon emission.

The factory also boasts an impressive PV system which generates 2 191 MWh per annum actively reducing peak electrical demand and providing a saving of 30% on average. The building is fitted out with 100% energy saving LED fittings. All water and energy sources are metered and monitored through a building management system (BMS) with an extended building tuning programme in place for a period of five years. The facility draws water from four boreholes and has 600kL storage capacity on site to curb the use of municipal water, while water used for the vegetable cutting process is recycled.

A project specific environmental management plan was developed and implemented throughout the duration of construction to establish guidelines on how to minimise the environmental impact associated with construction activities. A project specific waste management plan was developed and implemented to minimise the contribution of waste going to landfill.

In2Food exceeded the Green Star target by implementing several innovation measures. These include upskilling of members of the professional team, as well as the installation of learning resources throughout the development that are connected to the energy and water monitoring platform and who give information on how more water and energy can be saved.

Alex Varughese, modelling and simulations consultant at Solid Green, recognises the efforts of In2food in terms of sustainability: “In2Food is among the few industrial facilities that have achieved Green Star ratings in South Africa. They are industry leaders, and we are encouraged and looking forward to seeing more industrial facilities strive for a Green Star and Net Zero ratings.”

Project Team

Owner: In2Food
Accredited professional: Solid Green Consulting
Architect: Empowered Spaces Architects
Electrical engineer: CP Engineering
Fire engineer: Adengo Fire
Mechanical engineer: Meccanitek
Quantity surveyors: Quanticost QS
Structural engineers: DG Consulting
Sustainable building consultant: Solid Green Consulting
Wet services: Sutherland Engineers
Main contractor: Enzacon
Project manager: Enzacon
Environmental consultant: SEF and Ecology International
Facilities management company: In2Food
BMS systems professional: BB Energy